*says action long overdue, seeks prosecution
*describes newly appointed coordinator, General Ndiomu as good choice for the job
*tasks president to go further by sacking NSA Monguno, overhauling entire security architecture
*says security agencies complicit in insecurity, oil theft in the region
By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Ethnic Nationalities in the Niger Delta have applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for sacking the former Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) Col Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) and appointment of Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) as new Interim Administrator.
But they tasked the president to go further by not only sacking the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno, but also completely restructuring the nation’s security architecture to guarantee security and safety of national assets which they accused security agencies of conniving with enemies of the state to sabotage.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, had on Thursday, approved the appointment of Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) as Interim Administrator of PAP.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, in a statement to this effect, explained that the appointee, who hails from Odoni in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, replaces Milland Dikio.
Reacting to the development, the group described the action of the president as the fulfilment of the people of the Niger Delta. It called for prosecution of Dikio over allegations raised against him in office.
The ethnic nationalities, operating under the aegis of Conference of Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities, CONDEN, in a statement, Friday,by its National President, Dr Frank Timi, and Secretary, High Chief Godwin Ayeri, while thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for relieving Dikio of his job, noted that the action was long overdue in the face of not only the damning allegations of missing N10 billion in the amnesty office but also high rise in oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
In the statement, the group insisted that overhauling the amnesty office cannot be said to be complete without the total restructuring of the security architecture, saying security agencies were complicit in the restiveness occasioned by massive crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.
The group had last week, said the recent revelation of massive crude oil theft in the country by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, Engr. Mele Kyari, further exposed the incompetence of the nation’s security agencies.
It particularly attributed the ugly situation to the involvement of some personnel of security agencies which it alleged, connive with those it described as saboteurs to loot the nation’s resources.
“We wish to wholeheartedly commend President Muhammadu Buhari for the sack of the former Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme,PAP, Col. Milland Dikio, and his subsequent replacement
with Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu.
“Giving his footprint in all areas he has served the nation in the past, we view General Ndiomu (Rtd)’s appointment as a good choice for the amnesty office. He is a round peg in a round hole. To us, this is a right step in the right direction toward peace and stability in the oil rich region of Nigeria,”the statement read.
However, the group which had recently protested the irregularities in the nation’s oil sector,said,”We still demand the sack of all the service chiefs, and the National Security Adviser, NSA Major General Babagana Monguno (retd ), and the total overhaul of the Nigeria security architecture to enhance robust revenue drive for the country. “
According to the group,”The massive oil theft in Niger Delta is largely carried out with knowledge and connivance of some security personnel”, adding that “until something is done urgently to restructure the entire security of the region, Nigeria may continue to lose huge oil revenues to criminals and their agents in Abuja.”
“Nigeria cannot continue to borrow money to pay salaries and service its obligations”, it said noting that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is on strike while some senior security agencies smile to the bank at the detriment of Nigeria.”
While noting that,”Enough is enough “, the group insisted that “something needs to be done urgently to address this insecurity in the Nigeria.”
“We, therefore, openly and once again demand the sack of the National Security Adviser, NSA Major. General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), and the service chiefs. We also demand that they be replaced with officers who have the fear of God and commitment for the job, otherwise, Nigeria may not be able to pay staff salaries in the coming months,” the Niger Delta region added.
The Conference of Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities, expressed fear that the country may go completely broke if the president delays in overhauling the security architecture which agents it blamed for the unpleasant development.
” The massive theft going on in the Niger Delta of our national resources has greatly affected our economy and if something is not done fast to stop it, Nigeria will be too broke to even buy stationery to run its offices,”it said.
It further said, “We believe this massive theft cannot happen without connivance and incompetency on the side of the security agencies. We, therefore, appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to wade the big stick by totally overhauling the entire security architecture to guarantee effective oil revenue regime.”
The group said its investigation revealed that oil theft in the Niger Delta is being masterminded by some personnel of the security agencies in conjunction with militants and even some senior management staff of oil companies.
“As indigenes of the Niger Delta region, we have observed first-hand the activities of illegal bunkering and refining of crude oil into petroleum motor spirit (PMS) and automated gas oil (AGO) or diesel used by heavy duty vehicles.
“These unpleasant activities of saboteurs is seriously telling on the nation’s economy. We fear that if action is not taken immediately against these enemies of the state starting with immediate and comprehensive overhauling of the security architecture, Nigeria may go completely broke.
“It is in this regard that we appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast, so that Nigeria can be rescued,” it added.